How CPI Training Supports Individualized Care for Unique Individuals
“One of the things we stress the most when we train is that this is not autism-specific training. This is training for people because people have anxiety. It is part of becoming or being human.” —Lexie Dryden, Autism SA
One thing we all share, regardless of diagnosis or disorder, is anxiety. Whether chronic or occasional, acute or moderate, anxiety is part of what makes us human. Throughout Lexie’s interview—a deep dive into how South Australia’s primary autism support organization provides individualized, person-centered support—the central message is that all behavior is communication, and the values of empathy and understanding are universal.
Founded in 1964, Autism SA (South Australia) is a not-for-profit, registered charity and the recognized regional leader for helping families and individuals on the autism spectrum. A 15-year veteran of the organization, Lexie’s role as a consultant involves building extensive support teams around children with autism.
Much of the interview explores how CPI training (specifically, a CPI specialized offering known in Australia as MAPA®
, or the Management of Actual or Potential Aggression
) has become embedded in Autism SA’s policies and procedures, and how it has informed the culture of the organization.
Lexie stresses that CPI training has helped her to not only be more successful in her professional role, but also with her family, and individuals in the community. She shares how a person-centered approach is not just a requisite for supporting ASD, it’s how we would all like to be treated.
The interview centers on a harrowing experience Lexie had de-escalating a deeply agitated child by utilizing a CPI control technique, and it offers a prime illustration of how CPI’s Crisis Development Model
℠ can profoundly influence outcomes. As Lexie says, “We often get the comment that the behavior of concern or the contextually inappropriate behaviors seem to come from nowhere. But if you can recognize that as a sign of stress and anxiety, break that cycle, support the individual to be calm, teach them the skills that they need to address the underlying characteristics of autism, then the outcomes for that individual and the staff are better.”
Tune in to hear how she applied this wisdom when she encountered a child in distress.
Lexie Dryden of Autism SA
has dedicated her professional life to helping people with intellectual and multiple disabilities. For over 27 years, she has supported individuals with autism in the Southern Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Barossa, and Clare regions of South Australia. Lexie is also an accomplished speaker and has presented trainings and workshops for professionals, parents, and carers, including presenting alongside Temple Grandin
, the prominent autism and animal behaviorist SME. Lexie has also been involved with an Australia-wide program called Positive Partnerships
as a regional training team member and key local professional.